OPINION: School Should Start Later, End Earlier

OPINION: School Should Start Later, End Earlier

Many students fall asleep in classes and get a consequence for it. However, scientific evidence has shown the reason a lot of students fall asleep is beyond their control. Because of this, some school districts are considering an adjustment to school start times. Another issue students have is that they’re exhausted because the school day is too long. For the sake of teens’ health, school start times should be pushed back at least 1 hour and 30 mins without adding to the ending time.

First, the school day starts before students’ brains are ready to learn. Many students fall asleep at the beginning of the school days. Freshman Jada Bredeson says, “I wake up at 5:45 a.m. I sleep in class like every day, mainly 1st and 2nd block (8:20 – 11:30 am.).” Having more sleep and waking up later would allow the teen brain to function properly and to not be sluggish when waking up early. According to www.Baltimoresun.com, “A teenager’s brain is not ready to learn at 6 a.m. That’s why it is typical for teenagers to sleep late on weekends. Their brains’ developmental time does not start until 10 or 11 in the morning.”

Also, the school day is too long. Students say that school is the most draining part of their days because they’re in a building for seven-plus hours every day, five days a week, for 180 days. “Schools are draining, we need less time in school,” Freshman, Mackenzie Ward said. According to www.idtech.com, “Shortening the school day could give kids and teens more time for movement, brain breaks, and other activities proven to boost learning outcomes among other benefits.”  This would also allow students who have jobs to get rest before working or have an extra hour after school to sleep, study, and or be active. 

School start times are very useful for parents who work in the mornings and cannot leave their child home alone. However, this is at the expense of the child’s health. Waking up so early is too much for people who are so young. Though some parents don’t like to leave their children home alone, the recommended age that a child should be able to stay home alone is at 10. Parents should teach their children strict rules for staying home alone, and, if affordable, they can get a babysitter up until age 10. 

In conclusion, the best way to help teens is for school start times to be pushed back at least an hour and half. School end times should be changed to end one hour early, making for six-hour school days instead of seven. School weeks should also be cut to 4 days a week so students don’t drain themselves every day, five days straight and in school for 35 hours, which is similar to a work week. The school year should also be cut to 168 days/six months, allowing for staff and students to focus on their personal lives so they’re not drained from the long school year.